Hikers nearly start wildfire

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By Tris DeRoma

A hiker called police on the morning of April 8 to say his friend might be suffering from alcohol poisoning. The hiker told police that they were on a trail somewhere off of Barcelona Street and Sherwood Boulevard.
When police arrived, they had to call out to the hikers because of the low visibility due to the high level of smoke in the area. When police did locate the hikers, one of them immediately told police that he thought his friend might be suffering from alcohol poisoning, as he was dry heaving all night. When they arrived at the fire, they saw the individual, a minor, slumped over.
That’s when police also met up with Ian Hubbard, 19. When police asked Hubbard what his friend drank, he said a “handle” (1.75 liters) of “Ten High” bourbon. Police then noticed a nearly-empty, large bottle of bourbon about 10 feet away.
The victim was transported to the hospital while police detained Hubbard and kept an eye on the fire, which they noticed had spread.
“I noticed that the fire was not contained within a pit and that some of the embers and a small log had spread into an area that had many weeds,” said Officer James Keane in the report. Police were also worried because the conditions happened to be dry and gusty that day.
“There were many houses in the area of the fire which could have been in danger had the fire not been extinguished,” Keane said.
Keane also noted that Hubbard kept up a belligerent and rude attitude toward him and the other officer, Sgt. Jeremy Duran.
“Throughout the incident Mr. Hubbard maintained a sarcastic and rude tone toward me and Sgt. Duran, and on several occasions Mr. Hubbard suggested that he felt that it was necessary to ‘mess’ with us,” Keane said.
Hubbard was found to have a .132 blood alcohol rating. He was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, (fourth-degree felony), minor in possession of alcohol (misdemeanor) and improper handling of fire (petty misdemeanor).